Or more than just an excuse to down a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and vow to give up blogging forever, as the case may be.
Most of us look at our stats more than we probably should; it’s natural to want to see whether anyone’s paying attention, and undeniably gratifying to watch the graphs go up, up, and away. But if you’re trying to build a readership and are not using the world of data lurking in your stats to inform your blog and boost your traffic, you’re missing out. Your stats page is way more than a bunch of charts with the power to boost or kill your confidence — it’s a bunch of charts that give you the ability to see into the minds of your readers and shape your blog accordingly.
Most of us start blogs both because we want to write and we want to connect to others — if you weren’t interested in the connection piece, you’d just keep a private diary. But unlike other online communities like Facebook, where we go to connect to friends and family, most of us hope our blogs will reach beyond those immediate circles to the wider world.
While I like to cultivate the secret fantasy that the sheer force of my genius will propel my blog to viral fame, a three-book deal, and a recurring correspondent role on The Daily Show, my realistic blogger self knows that it takes time and effort to build an engaged readership. (Some genius doesn’t hurt.) (Also: Jon Stewart, call me. I’m totally available.)
Hi folks. Remember me? I’m the guy who used to pummel you with ideas for blogging every day. I’m back with a report on the awesome things I’ve watched happen here since I left.
Two years ago this blog began as an experiment (see The Daily Post’s first ever post). I started with some coworkers at WordPress.com. We wanted a way to share what we knew about blogging, while learning at the same time, and the daily post competition was a simple way to start. As things rolled along Sara, Daryl, and Erica joined in with posts about photography and writing. And by the time I left the company in May 2012 it was clear there was something valuable here, but we all knew something was missing.
May I be frank? Because I feel like we’re friends.
I love a blogroll.
Like many of you, I spend a lot of time trying to find my blogular niche. I’m a Reader power user, but the ever-expanding vastness of the blogosphere can still be overwhelming. Enter: the blogroll. When I find a blog I like, I’m always excited to see a blogroll — it’s like getting recommendations from a friend rather than blindly falling down the rabbit hole of the internet. Throw in the community- and traffic-building benefits, and a blogroll becomes a win-win-win-win proposition.